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InfraCo Africa has signed $2.2 million convertible loan agreements with energy developer Gigawatt Global for the development of the Samburu Solar and Transmara Solar projects in Kenya.

Each with a capacity of 10MWAC, the sister facilities will generate clean, reliable electricity in some of the poorest counties in the country.

The financing committed by InfraCo Africa will enable these projects to complete development activities and secure the financing needed for construction. Read more: Great potential for financing mini-grids

InfraCo Africa forms part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), which is funded by governments in the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Both projects will be developed in partnership with Gigawatt Global, building from their experience in Rwanda.

“Gigawatt Global’s pioneering mission in Kenya to target last-mile generation development is bolstered by its partnership with InfraCo Africa,” said the company’s CEO, Josef Abramowitz.

“Through the Samburu and Transmara projects, this alliance will demonstrate how solar can act as an essential cornerstone to empower rural and under-served populations,” Abramowitz added.

Achieving energy access via renewables

Last year, the government of Kenya reaffirmed its intention to achieve Universal Electricity Access by 2022 and to continue developing the power sector: including the strategic use of on-grid, off-grid and small-scale solutions.

The Samburu and Transmara projects will directly contribute to achieving this goal.

To date, private sector investment in Kenyan solar has focused on either large-scale plants or local mini-grids/solar systems.

Work is also underway to explore the potential for one or both of the solar projects to take part in a local currency power purchase agreement (PPA) pilot. 

If confirmed, the solar projects would be amongst the first in sub-Saharan Africa to have negotiated local currency renewable energy PPAs outside of South Africa.

“Recognising the challenges faced by the Kenyan power sector, we are excited to be pioneering 10MW solar IPPs and demonstrating the benefits of strategically locating small-scale generation whilst facilitating economic development within poor and under-served counties.” said Alix Graham, business development manager, InfraCo Africa.